Follow Here To Purchase The Occupy Movement Explained (Ideas Explained)

Author: Nicholas Smaligo, Author

Publisher: Open Court

ISBN: 978-0-8126-9855-8

The author of The Occupy Movement Explained, Nicholas Smaligo, is working on his PhD in Southern Illinois. (2014, insert) He was a participant, activist, and speaker for the Occupy Movement. Mr. Smaligo is interested in the environment, US debt, and mass incarceration.

I was very curious as to what this book would reveal and how the Occupy Movement would be explained by the current generation which might shape how future generations go about forming peaceful movements that express what is amiss with our government system. This book was enlightening and educational for me. I might add that I share some of their angst.

Chapter 1 opens with “…After three years of the Great Recession and its “jobless recovery,” after millions of people were kicked out of their homes so banks could stay profitable, after ten years of wars that Wall Street continues to benefit from, these protestors have an increasingly long list of evidence suggesting a conflict of interest between “the market” and the public good.” (2014, p.1)

Generally speaking I do not disagree. Furthermore, “Wall Street””…profits have increasingly come from “financial services”” – fees and interest collected on debt. …most of what is registered as “profits”” is not tied to production of consumer goods at all, but rather to extracting interest and penalties from working people, students, and sick people.” (p.7) The reason this is so stems from “…what happened in 2008 was either a perversion or a horrible accident, in which banks sought to “exploit their position and make a killing".

Wall Street lost sight of its supposed true purpose and its firms started making bets that were in their own short-term interest, disregarding the interest of both “their customers and the economy at large””.” (p.8) I believe that Wall Street was one of many culpable in this regard, yet they were the only sector to be bailed out by the US government on the backs of the US taxpayer. To me and to the Occupy Movement this smells of fish!

Regarding the creation of movements Smalingo says the following. “A successful assembly creates a space for people to listen to one another, to learn from one another, and to gain a very different perspective on the rest of their social relationships.” (2014, p.19) Throughout history this type of assembly was not always painted in the best light. Take for example the Cold War. “…anyone who pointed out that the interests of the super-rich were actually counter to the interests of the vast majority of people in the United States risked being associated with the Soviet Union.” (p.21)

The Occupy Movement was “not about talking to the one percent; it’s about talking to everyone else.” (p.23) To wit, “We are the 99% and we have moved to reclaim our mortgaged future.” (p.47) The stated purpose of the Occupy Movement was “…not organizing themselves against specific problems with the government or the economy; they were fed up with the whole process and convinced another world is possible.” (p.48) “The statistical fact that the top one percent control almost forty percent of the nation’s wealth is just one really effective and important illustration of how out of control inequality has become.” (p.52) I totally concur with the above intent and interpretation with the exception that the “possible” world will never be allowed because the best interests of the ruling class (1%) would not be served by such a system. Therefore, we, the 99% are destined to remain disenfranchised and discontent.

Read, learn, and discuss. I did.